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Out with the old, In with the new… Imbolc

From HighSpirit magazine

This month, you’ll notice the first shoots
springing from the ground. Crocuses and
snowdrops peek bravely through the frost.
Nature awakens and prepares for spring.
Now is the time to join nature in spells for beginnings.
…So what’s that got to do with romance?

Even in the heart of the city, you can always notice nature. Whether you walk to work through a park or wake up to the sight of your neighbour’s window boxes, you’ll have noticed the dead of winter, when nothing but a few cyclamens and winter pansies hold their heads high in the cold, wet ground.
I’m lucky to have my first ever back garden and a tiny front garden here in London and there’s a whole park between me and my tube station, so the first shoots of spring are quite a big deal for me. If we put it dramatically, as you gaze at the miracle of life beginning, you can harness its power towards anything you’d like to start anew.

Traditions of Imbolc
February the 1st is called Imbolc in the Wiccan calendar. Some say it’s February 2nd but it’s really not worth arguing over – most covens celebrate on the most convenient day to all its members. The meanings and even pronunciation of the word Imbolc have several variations, but all suggest to the awakening of nature. Whether it means ‘ewe’s milk’ and spelled Oimelc, or whether it’s Old Irish i mbolg for ‘in the belly’, the message is loud and clear. With the start of the nature year, we’re ready to shed off our old winter coats and make a fresh start.
Self-dedications and initiations are de rigueur at this time. Keep reading for advice on performing your own.
Spring-cleaning is performed ritually at this time, as well as sweeping your magic circle whilst chanting ‘thus we banish winter / thus we welcome spring / say farewell to what is dead / and greet each living thing’.
Imbolc is a time for us to honour the Goddess Brigid, whose worship is maintained in modern days through the devotion to Ireland’s St Brigid, patron saint of midwives and newborn babies. The Goddess Brigid was told to bring healing and fertility to the people, and was, no doubt, the direct inspiration for the saint who bears her name. Therefore, any wells that are sacred to one are also blessed for the other.
Her role in praying and casting spells for childbirth is very close to my heart. As well as going through a challenging journey myself in mine and my husband’s quest for a family, many of my clients are experiencing the same difficulties. This Brigid spell is dedicated to you, ladies. You know who you are!

Fertility Spell for the Goddess Brigid
Use St Brigid’s Day, February 1st to perform this spell, and if you can, read up a bit about the saint or the Goddess Brigid on whom her stories are based, so that you can visualise her effectively when you focus on your spell.
Set a pure white altar in Brigid’s colour. Lace or velvet altar cloths, a white candle dedicated to the goddess, a couple of white bowls or ramekins for milk and water and anything else that seems appropriate to you. Perhaps a picture of a baby or a pregnancy test – be creative!
Into a duly consecrated circle, invite Brigid and meditate on her. Visualise yourself meeting her at her sacred well and throw an offering of a coin into the well.
Milk is one of the symbols of the Goddess, and an obvious symbol of childbirth. Bless the milk in the name of the Goddess and anoint each of your chakras with it, dipping your middle finger in it and dabbing it on each chakra point in turn.
Visualise each chakra open and ready for the birth of your child.
When you’re ready, give thanks and take down your circle.

Over the months, I’ve discussed a lot of ‘results magic’ here; when you conjure up something you need with the help of the Gods or the universe. But Imbolc is also a time to worship the Gods without asking for anything in return. A very spiritual ritual for those very spiritual readers, here is a dedication ritual, short and sweet.

Simple Self-Dedication
I can safely assume you would only perform this spell when you have been working with a certain deity for a long time, or feel a very special affinity with them. This is not something that needs doing if you just want a favour from this God or Goddess! Dedication is for life, not just for Imbolc.
Go outdoors to make it really special. A local park or a back garden are equally fine. Cast your circle and invite the elements and your main deity.
Introduce yourself and explain why you’re performing the ritual, and state past encounters you’ve had with this God or Goddess. Make a physical offering to your deity, like a crystal or some incense. Also, make a promise to them, and make sure it’s a promise you will keep!
Spend as long as you can meditating on the God or the Goddess. Enjoy being in your circle out in nature. When you are ready, close your circle and write down everything you can remember.

In the midst of all this overt spirituality, no one can forget February’s most widely acknowledged date, the second biggest card-sending festival in the calendar, Valentine’s Day. Originally, the festival of Lupercalia, which was celebrated on February 15th, was a fertility festival, so not far removed from everything we looked at thus far. The maidens of the city of Rome would go out in search of a mate. We can still do this part nowadays, so for new love, or for a breath of fresh air into your love story, try this original spell:

Love Reborn Spell
One of the most common questions I get asked when doing a reading is: ‘Is he coming back?’ It’s hard to give up an old love story as, after a while, we only remember the happy times.
To make sure this spell works effectively, make sure you’re ready to give up the old love if it’s not right for you. Mix rose, jasmine and lavender scents in a bath. Essential oils are great but if you can find some dried or natural flowers for your bath, better yet. A glass of rosé wine will be your treat when you finish, which you can prepare beforehand.
As you’re bathing, imagine the room filling out with a fluffy pink mist.
Through the mist, you hear a knock on the bathroom door, and will it to open. In your mind’s eye, see who walks in. Be honest with yourself!
If it’s the old love, tell him how you want for things to change, what you’re hoping for in your future.
If a new love walks through, turn over a new leaf, tell him you’re ready to meet him and let him know what your expectations are from a love relationship.
When you’re done, ask him to leave, allow the pink mist to disappear and finish your bath in peace.

Happy Imbolc, and happy rebirth.

Inbaal can be contacted for readings on 075 0505 7040 or inbaal.com

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